Sports

Warriors will win the NBA championship, and not because of any one player

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A coronation awaits the Golden State Warriors, and they have come too far to retreat. Everything they imagined in the darkest days, with Klay Thompson grinding through rehab and the losses piling up, has come to fruition – not merely through their unshakable belief, but an on-court system that stands alone in NBA excellence.

The Finals against Boston or Miami will be a formidable test, no question, but it’s remarkable to realize that Golden State is the only team 100% dedicated to the ball movement and the two-point shot. The result – plus the crucial factor of the Warriors holding home-court advantage – will lead to the fourth championship of this magnificent run.

It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? Watch how the Warriors – not just Stephen Curry, but all of them – are in constant motion during an offensive set.

It’s not copied, nor does any other team even come close, because there’s no stifling the force of ego. I’m already winded, a given player might think. Why should I run all over hell when I probably won’t get the shot? Now I’m supposed to get back and play tough defense, too? Maybe I’ll cut to the basket here, set a screen there, but every time down the floor? No way!

Which is perfectly understandable – you’re picturing the likes of James Harden, Russell Westbrook and so many other elite stars taking possessions off – except the Warriors will not relent. It’s built into the mind-set of Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson to perform at a full-tilt pace, and you’d better comply if you hope to join them on the court. Come the fourth quarter of a crucial game, especially at Chase Center, the combination of elite conditioning and long-crafted familiarity becomes too much to overcome.

We all know the Warriors revolutionized the 3-point shot – to the league’s great detriment. How often does a team simply set up its halfcourt offense in a semicircle, whipping the ball around the perimeter until some rudimentary element of strategy, like someone setting a screen, triggers a shot?

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